“This story is good enough to have been shortlisted, infact I will really appreciate it if we can get a complete version of the story” ~ Grace O.
“…Truthfully. I wldnt know if it was supposed to be picked or not, because I did not have access to other entries, but like I said earlier it’s a unique story. Great work, keep your mind crazy.” ~ Desiblaque
“I enjoyed reading this story and I think more stories can be birthed from it…” ~ Auxano
“…I like the connection at the end of the story.” ~ Anu
“Connecting each dot makes me give it a billion likes…” ~ Ben
These are some thoughts from the exclusive reading session of “The Bridge”. And now to our feature post of the day; #LMD5 – enjoy!
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//The Golden Moment//
The best time to take action towards a dream is yesterday, the worst is tomorrow; the best compromise is today ~ Alvah Simon
Stella placed the phone by her side on the couch after ending the call, and returned her attention to Desola who had a questioning stare in her eyes. ‘It’s Zainab, Ebuka’s friend’s wife.’ She said, answering a question she had not been asked.
‘Yes, Raheem’s wife,’ Stella smiled, surprised that Desola’s first time guess was accurate. ‘She’s organizing a surprise birthday party for him on Friday and would like me to be there.’
‘Where?’ Desola asked rather curiously.
‘It’s a house party,’ Stella replied. ‘Do you want to come? This one you’re asking for the venue like you’re the one that was invited?’
Desola chuckled, exposing her perfect white teeth. ‘Come? Nah, so not coming, I’m just asking so that I can place an order for a stripper to turn up and set the party on fire.’
Stella smacked the back of Desola’s palm playfully.
‘But it’s true,’ Desola giggled, pulling back her hand after Stella’s smack.
‘You can save the stripper for your hen party,’ Stella joked, her eyes turning to her phone as the beeping light drew her attention to a new message.
‘Of course, I’m definitely having a stripper for the hen party, two of them in fact,’ Desola quipped. ‘What do you think a hen party is? A vigil?’ She asked, her eyes mocking her cousin, ‘proper church girl.’
Stella smiled, her fingers tapping on her phone screen as she replied the message that just came in. It was from Daniel.
‘I actually thought it was a vigil,’ Stella replied, the note of sarcasm not lost in her voice, as she looked up from her phone to her cousin, who was also busy fiddling with her phone.
‘I’m not surprised sister Stella,’ Desola said in a mocking tone. ‘Don’t worry, the strippers, sorry, the preachers will give a wonderful sermon on that day.’
Stella burst out laughing. Desola was quick-witted and always fun to be with. She was the closest person to a best friend she had ever gotten, and being born five days after she and Arthur were born, she made the group feel more like triplets than like twins, with Arthur snuggled in between two ladies. ‘So tell me, what do you think about Enitan’s ideas for the wedding?’
‘Her ideas are quite good,’ Desola mused. ‘I particularly like her thoughts on what the reception should look like; she seems quite good at what she does.’
‘Yes she is,’ Stella agreed, picking her phone up from the couch as the red light began to beep again. She was sure it was Daniel responding to her joke of getting a query on Monday, if episode one of the serial wasn’t completed by then.
Reality always trumps fiction, Daniel thought to himself as he wheeled his chair closer to the table.
Who would have imagined that his slave driver boss and the gentle and very withdrawn Emmanuel would be involved in a secret affair?
In a thousand years, the thought would never have crossed his mind as they were very discreet, not letting a hint slip, whether by their actions or in the way they interacted with one another – or maybe he was just too blind to see.
The images from Thursday night crept into his thoughts again and it began to make sense to him why Emmanuel found it very easy to work late.
Who wouldn’t work late under such a condition?
He smiled as the question filtered into his mind. He knew he would work as late as two in the morning under such conditions. ‘Stupid boy,’ he muttered to himself, his smile broadening into a gentle laugh.
If he could transfer this into a script, he was sure he could work on it to make out a hit series on TV. On the series, he could have a character like Bankole; walk in on them right in the middle of the action.
‘Wow!’ He breathed, as he let his imagination run wild. People loved such stories. Scandal. Drama. Suspense. These were the ingredients of a hit story, something he desperately wanted in the serial he was about to start writing.
He unzipped his back-pack, and pulled out his tablet. It was time to write something he could actually share with the world and not waste his time reminiscing about a story that was best kept as a secret.
He slid the tablet into the groove at the top end of the keyboard and rubbed his palms together in glee as the blank page of the new Word document opened up before him. He was juiced up to write.
He had woken all juiced up, but first had to drag himself through the bore of doing his laundry, being that it was a Saturday morning and there was power. He was not getting fooled by the seeming improvement in power supply to delay his laundry, as he had gotten his fingers burnt on previous occasions when he had taken the same decision, only for there to be a power cut which sometimes lasted through the weekend.
He stared at the Episode One sitting at the top of the page for some few seconds and then his fingers tapped on the keypad, producing the first words of the serial on the tablet’s screen, Danny listened to the voice over the loudspeaker, as the announcer introduced their song to the audience.
He glossed over the words he had just typed on the page, mouthing every word to himself as the images of his story played out in his mind. And then like a man entranced, his fingers typed feverishly on the keypad as scene after scene scrolled through the canvas of his mind. He was off the blocks and the serial had finally begun.
Danny listened to the voice over the loudspeaker, as the announcer introduced their song to the audience, up next to perform, is Orode and Danny, and they’ll be singing Jamb Question, by Simi, and Falz the bad guy.
He felt the dance of the butterflies in his stomach as the music started to play. He was standing just behind the curtains, waiting for the part of the song, when he would make his entrance on stage.
His sides quaked as he felt a nervous tremor run down his spine. This was his third performance in the competition, but he had never for once felt so much anxiety before a performance.
Maybe it was because this was a duet, and someone else’s chance in the competition hinged on how well or badly he performed tonight. His palms felt clammy as he clasped the microphone almost unwillingly, listening as Orode hypnotized the audience.
Do you live next door?
Does your daddy play football?
Girl I cannot lie for you, I swear I recognize you
Ma bi mini jamb question…
Her voice was pure, sweet and strong, as she skillfully navigated the lines of her verse in a confidently casual manner. She made singing look very easy, waltzing around the stage in an attitude fitting for the song.
This girl can sing, one of the lighting engineers said to no one in particular, with his eyes fixed on the console in front of him.
‘Let’s do this!’ Danny muttered to himself as he gave the stage manager a sign with a quick nod of his head and stepped out from the curtains into the semi-lit corners of the stage, just behind the back-up singers.
It was an extremely different environment as he could literarily feel the energy in the air as Orode thrilled the audience.
He felt himself transform into ‘Falz the bad guy’ as the seconds ticked by, and just as quickly as his transformation, it was his moment –
Wait, lemme hexplain – actually boo
When I saw you, my attention was attracted to you
And then talking to you, seemed like what is perfect to do…
The spotlight shone on him as he stepped out from behind the back-up singers, swaggering towards Orode, who had a big smile on her face.
The microphone didn’t seem so heavy anymore as he spat line after line of the rap verse, enjoying the look of surprise on the faces of the judges and the coaches. He could tell that everyone on the bench were pleased, as Mr. Ade who loved to play the part of Simon Cowell bopped his head to the beat with an amazed expression on his face.
The performance hurtled to an intense finale, as the cacophony from the drum rolls, blended with the cheering audience, delayed both the judges and the coaches, from giving their feedback.
Danny’s eyes travelled to the left side of the hall and just like it has been from his very first performance, Teni and her volunteer staff had their printed card-boards lifted high above their heads.
He could see her screaming excitedly, but her voice was drowned in the chants of, Da-nny Boy! Da-nny Boy!! Da-nny Boy!!! As the audience responded to Mr. Ade’s praise for his performance.
Danny basked in the adulation of the cheering audience as his fingers interlocked with Orode’s. He couldn’t believe he was standing on the stage of the biggest musical talent competition show in the country, with hundreds of fans screaming his name.
Three months ago, he was in a waiting room at FUTURE Insurance, awaiting his turn at the final interview for a management trainee position.
It was the first time he had made it so far in any job screening process and was quietly optimistic that he would get a spot in the company, after-all they wanted three people from five shortlisted candidates. He couldn’t be that unlucky.
He remembered plugging his earphones to his ears and just forgetting himself, until he felt a slight nudge on his arm.
‘That’s my favourite song.’
He turned his head slightly and his eyes beheld the prettiest smile he had ever seen in his life. ‘What song?’ He had asked, not sure how she knew what song he was listening to.
‘The one you’re listening to, ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars,’ she answered. ‘You were singing along,’ she added, seeing that he had the look of surprise in his eyes.
He unplugged the earphone from his left ear and stretched it out to her but she declined, with the smile still plastered on her face.
‘I’ll prefer to listen to you sing along,’ Teni said, the tone of her voice showing that she was serious. ‘You have a great voice.’
He felt a flush of confusion take over him. He had never been complimented by a girl before, especially a beautiful one. He didn’t know exactly how to respond.
‘It’s good dark people don’t blush, because you would have turned pink right now if you were light,’ Teni had teased as she took her seat close to him. ‘Don’t tell me you’re here for the same interview my sister is here for.’
‘Yes I am,’ he replied, not sure if he was doing something bad.
‘With a voice like that, you should not be looking for a job in an insurance firm, you should be auditioning for The Star,’ she had said, matter of factly.
Danny chuckled in disbelief.
‘You’d not only qualify, you’d win. I’m sure of it,’ she had insisted, her gaze fixed intently on him.
A soft pinch from Orode roused Danny from his reverie, back to the frenzied audience.
He acknowledged Orode with a smile as they took a bow and walked off the stage, hand in hand.
Teni’s prediction that he would win didn’t look out of place anymore, especially with Mr. Ade’s flattering assessment, but he knew he had good competition in Tunde and Orode, even though with each passing week, it was becoming clearer, he was the audience’s favourite.
Enitan sat behind her desk with the air of a contented CEO. Business was doing very well, as was obvious from the schedule calendar in front of her. She had just ticked off the last available weekend in December as booked, and had only recently expanded the company’s human capacity from five staff to seven.
The company was getting bigger, but she was still very far from her dream of being the first choice wedding planner for the elites in Lagos. Maybe she was in the top ten but definitely not in the top five, but that was sure to change, and very soon too. After-all, it was a season of change in the country.
She smiled, a bit deviously as the thought of change crossed her mind. The thought seemed to conjure up images of Ebuka as the words of the prophet came to mind, you will meet someone in the next seven days, and that person will change your life. He is your husband.
She had scoffed at the idea when Rinsola had asked that she accompany her to the prophet’s place. ‘You do prophets? She had responded, visibly shocked.
‘And what’s wrong with that?’ Rinsola replied with a straight face as she packed her make-up kit into her bag.
She was taken aback by her friend’s reaction, but after some seconds of silence, quietly asked, ‘In this time and age?’
Rinsola ignored her.
Her seeming objection did not quell her curiosity, as she accompanied Rinsola to an office that was fitting for a bank executive, in the Opebi area of Ikeja.
Prophet John didn’t fit the mould that she had cast for him when she finally saw him, as he looked very well packaged with his designer suits and impeccable english. He had escorted Rinsola back to the reception area where she was waiting and had insisted on saying a short prayer with her, after which he had declared the words that now seemed to be a compass for her life, ‘you will meet someone in the next seven days, and that person will change your life. He is your husband.’
‘And why does your prophet think that at twenty seven, I’m desperate for a husband,’ she had asked Rinsola, immediately they were seated in the car. She was visibly gutted.
‘If I were you, I would be counting the days. Seven days, and you’ll meet your husband,’ Rinsola had confidently stated, steering the car out from the gate into the busy Opebi road.
She met Ebuka four days later when he rammed his car into her rear, seriously damaging her bumper.
She had been extremely furious, seeing that she was running late for an appointment, but Ebuka had not only led her to his mechanic, he had also offered to drop her off at her destination, but not before they had exchanged business cards.
Six months after the accident, and she was planning Ebuka’s younger sister’s wedding. It was the second job he would be referring her for, and it was by far the biggest budget she had handled, up until that moment.
‘Great job,’ Ebuka had said, easing into the office just at the back of the main hall, after a quick tap that served as a knock.
‘Thank you,’ she had replied, raising her head, up from the magazine that was on the table. She just came in from the hall and even though the guests were thinning out, the party was still rocking.
‘You’ve been very busy, I thought you might like to share a drink,’ Ebuka said, pouring some wine into one of the glasses he was holding and pushing it towards her.
‘I’m sorry, I don’t drink while on duty,’ she had politely refused.
‘It’s a party.’
‘You call it a party Mr. Obi, I call it work,’ she replied with a smile.
‘Hmmn,’ he had mused, the expression on his face revealing he was impressed, but she wasn’t sure if it was her response that impressed him, as his eyes were staring straight at her breasts.
‘Then we’ll have to dance,’ he said even as his hands had grabbed hers, and pulled her up gently from her chair.
She liked him. He knew how to be in charge.
‘Your girlfriend should be waiting,’ she had chipped in, trying to burst his bubble as he sought to wrap his hands around her waist.
‘She has left,’ He said almost blandly, like he was reading the evening news.
‘No music,’ she reminded him as she collapsed into his arms, too weak to fight the strength in his arms anymore.
‘Our heartbeats will do,’ he had replied, just before planting a quick kiss on her lips.
His lips were soft, just like she had imagined a proper ajebutter’s lips to be, but the kiss left her stunned as she had not expected it.
‘That was a non alcoholic kiss,’ he had stated calmly, with mischief clearly written in his eyes. ‘I know you don’t do alcohol during work hours.’
‘I can make exceptions today,’ she heard her heart saying, pursing her lips seductively, even though her head advised her to land him a big slap.
He took the invite willingly as he closed her lips in his, intoxicating her with his kisses.
‘You should stop Mr. Obi,’ she had remembered telling him. It was supposed to be a warning, even though it was uttered in a gasp. She was a thread away from unleashing the animal in her.
He placed a finger on her lips as his left hand cradled her neck. ‘Call me Ebuka,’ he said, his eyes burning with fiery passion, and in a voice that sent sweet tingling sensations down her spine, he made the most beautiful statement of the evening, ‘I’ll call you Gold.’
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